Sunday Times Teaser 2782 – Spiders
by Graham Smithers
Published: 17 January 2016 (link)
Spiders Beth and Sam wake up in the bottom corner of a cuboidal barn (all of whose sides are whole numbers of metres). They want to reach the opposite bottom corner without actually walking across the floor. Beth decides to walk on one of five possible shortest routes, two of them being around the edge of the floor and the other three being over the walls and ceiling. Sam decides instead to spin a web directly to the point on the ceiling diagonally opposite the starting point and then to drop down into the corner. The total length of his journey is within five centimetres of a whole number of metres.
How high is the barn?